The Atlantic

French Election 2017: A Guide to the Candidates

The main contenders for the presidency have sharply differing visions of France’s future.

Source: Christophe Ena / Francois Mori / AP / Frederic Legrand / Gerard Bottino / The Atlantic

No one French candidate is likely to receive 50 percent of the votes needed in Sunday’s presidential election to avoid a runoff. Voters are picking from 11 candidates, two of whom will advance to the second round in May, and one, eventually, to the Élysée Palace. The election pits candidates from across the political spectrum—from the National Front’s (FN) Marine Le Pen on the far right to firebrand Jean-Luc Mélenchon on the far left—against one another.

Here are the top five candidates, listed according to where they stand in the latest polls.

Macron — En Marche!

The 39-year-old independent has come out of nowhere to become the front-runner. Recent polls project he’ll earn 23 percent of the vote in the first round and beat whoever he faces in the second. A victory would make him France’s youngest-ever president. A political outsider

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